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As Zika Fears Escalate, Lawmakers Point Fingers From Afar

  • Associated Press

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 28, 2016 file photo, Evaristo Miqueli, a natural resources officer with Broward County Mosquito Control, takes water samples decanted from a watering jug, checking for the presence of mosquito larvae in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 28, 2016 file photo, Evaristo Miqueli, a natural resources officer with Broward County Mosquito Control, takes water samples decanted from a watering jug, checking for the presence of mosquito larvae in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

As the Zika virus escalates into a public health crisis, members of Congress are entrenched in familiar partisan positions.

Republicans and Democrats are pointing fingers over the failure to act as the number of mosquito-transmitted cases in the U.S. grows.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell warned lawmakers on Wednesday that her budget for fighting Zika is running out quickly. Without more money fast, she said, the ``nation's ability to effectively respond to Zika will be impaired.''

Yet lawmakers left Washington in mid-July for a seven-week recess without approving any of the $1.9 billion President Barack Obama requested in February to develop a vaccine and control the mosquitoes that carry the virus.

Congress is not expected to interrupt its lengthy summer break to pass the anti-Zika legislation.

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